Mandisi Majavu

Mandisi Majavu

Mandisi Majavu is the Book Reviews Editor of Interface: A Journal For and About Social Movements. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is the co-editor of 'Visual Century: South African art in context Vol 4: 1990 - 2007' (Wits Press, 2011).

Some of his work has appeared in the anthologies: 'Real Utopia: Participatory society for the 21st Century' (Ak Press, 2008) and 'Beyond Borders: Thinking critically about global studies (Worth Publishers, 2006).

Confronting Colonial Discourse

Picture: Statue of Cecil John Rhodes at University of Cape Town courtesy Danie van der Merwe/flickr Mandisi Majavu - It has taken the University of Cape Town (UCT) 15 years to seriously consider the views of its black students concerning the statue of Cecil John Rhodes. Way back in 1999, Melissa Steyn and Mikki van Zyl researched students’ experiences of institutional culture at UCT. Their report concluded that participants “are sensitive to the meanings carried by the statues and names of buildings that reflect UCT’s history”, which respondents viewed as constant reminders of...

How Your Race Determines Your Chances of Success at Online Dating

Picture: Alamy/CALM Mandisi Majavu - Last month Christian Rudder, co-founder of OkCupid, an online dating website, released statistical data collected over a five-year period about how people who subscribe to the website ‘weigh race in deciding attraction’. The data doesn’t reveal any new insights into the issue, which people of colour are not already aware of. For instance, according to OkCupid, “racial bias has intensified a bit” with respect to how people choose romantic partners. Basically...

Playing Tennis While Black

Picture: Serena Williams courtesy Wikipedia Mandisi Majavu - Early this month, Serena Williams wrote an article for TIME magazine announcing that she has decided to end her 14-year boycott of the Indian Wells tennis tournament. The last time she played at the tournament in 2001, she was subjected to racial abuse. She recounts the whole incident in chapter four of her autobiography, My life: Queen of the court. According to Serena, throughout the whole match she was booed. She said she heard some members of the crowd shouting, “Nigger!”....

The Human Cost of Xenophobia

Picture: Poached Magazine Mandisi Majavu - Three months after the South African government announced that it was planning to introduce a controversial stringent application process for refugees seeking asylum in the country, foreign-owned shops are being looted in Soweto and foreign nationals are being subjected to xenophobic attacks again. The way in which ordinary South Africans embody, (mis)construe and then act out the values and outlook of our socio-political institutions when it comes to the issue of foreign nationals is too...

Police Brutality Takes Black Misandry to New Heights

Picture: Howard University, solidarity with Michael Brown, "Hand Mandisi Majavu - Michael Brown joins a long list of black men who have been killed with impunity by the police in the United States. Brown was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a Ferguson Missouri police officer, on August 9, 2014. Last month a grand jury in St. Louis, Missouri has chosen not to indict Wilson for the lethal shooting of an unarmed Brown. Following the grand jury’s decision of Brown’s death, The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) released a...

'They Don't Teach It In Law School': White Privilege and Oscar Pistorius

Picture: Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 London Olympic Games courtesy Jim Thurston/Wikimedia Commons Mandisi Majavu - Notwithstanding the violent and aggressive behaviour he exhibited in his personal life, the product of a historically heavily subsidised racial group in South Africa, Oscar Pistorius’ life demonstrates how white privilege protected his masculinity from being constructed as uncivil, criminal, threatening and dangerous. In a New York Times article, Michael Sokolove described Pistorius as a “great deal of fun”, but “more than a little crazy”. It is white...